What is home insurance and what does it cover?
It doesn’t matter if you live in a one-bedroom apartment or a six-bedroom mansion, your house is your castle and needs safeguarding against every eventuality. From burglaries to storms you need to ensure that you are adequately covered should something go wrong; because protecting what matters most is what home insurance is all about.
If you are confused about what home insurance is and what it covers, then read our comprehensive guide below as we explain the differences between buildings and contents insurance and how to obtain the right level of coverage for you.
Home insurance is a generic term that tends to cover your building or its contents. At Jersey Mutual we like to make life simpler, which is why we offer our members a combined house and home insurance, protecting both property and possessions in one.
What does our home insurance cover?
Home insurance is designed to protect you, your home and your belongings from a variety of unexpected events and is often split into two distinctive areas.
1. Buildings insurance
If your home is damaged by an unforeseen incident that was out of your control, then buildings insurance can help you pay for the repairs. Buildings insurance covers the structure of your home (roof, walls and windows) as well as permanent fixtures, such as your fitted kitchen or bathroom suite. Buildings insurance policies vary considerably between providers, but they should all insure your home in case of fire, storm, flood, glass breakage, subsidence, burst pipes, theft and falling trees.
At Jersey Mutual our house and home insurance also protects you against loss of rent and alternative accommodation for you or your tenants, should your home become uninhabitable. Plus, we will insure you for accidental damage caused to any underground services, pipes and cables. And, if there has been any injury caused to other people or damage to their property, we include owner’s liability for up to £5,000,000. Breakages of fixed glass and sanitary ware and cover during the sale of your property up to completion date, is also included as standard.
2. Contents insurance
Quite often the contents of your home are more valuable than you think. This is why it is so important to make sure that you are well covered in the event of damage, loss or theft. Items such as jewellery, computers and digital devices can all add up to quite a sum, before you even start including what’s in your shed, wardrobe and furniture. It is also worth noting that any high-value items such as jewellery, pieces of art and even bikes may have to be listed separately.
At Jersey Mutual, we will cover you on a new for old basis against loss or damage in the event of a fire, theft, lightning strike, impact, storm, flood, subsidence, falling trees and even escape of water. We appreciate that accidents happen, and we will therefore cover your T. V’s, satellite dish aerials and digital equipment as well as fixing any glass, mirrors and ceramic hobs, should the worst case happen.
For added peace of mind we will also replace your locks if your keys get stolen and cover the contents of your garden including any motorised garden equipment should they get taken. And, if others get injured or their property damaged, we provide you with personal liability cover of up to £5,000,000. From recreating title deeds and documents, housing you in alternative accommodation and replacing the loss of food when your freezer breaks down, we have a solution to nearly every scenario.
As buildings insurance alone does not cover your personal belongings, and vice versa, it is generally better to buy a combined home insurance policy, as offered by insurers such as Jersey Mutual.
Is it necessary to have home insurance in Jersey?
Whilst it is not compulsory to take out buildings cover, if you have a mortgage on your property then most lenders make it a requirement of the financial borrowing process.
Just like buildings insurance, contents insurance is not a legal requirement, nor does it come with any stipulations from your mortgage provider. That said, you should think about how you would cope if you lost your valuables due to a robbery or a fire and where the money would come from in order to replace them.
What is not covered by home insurance?
When protecting your home, it is important to understand what your policy covers.
Most home insurances do not cover you for general wear and tear, pest infestations or acts of war or terrorism. They are also not applicable to holiday homes or properties that are left unoccupied for more than 30 days a year.
You should beware of taking out standard home insurance if your house is not of regular construction. This includes thatched or flat roofs as well as listed buildings. If this applies to your property, then you may need to seek a specialist building insurance policy.
Finally, you should always read the small print before you buy home insurance in order to make sure that you have the right cover for your needs. Like most insurers, Jersey Mutual can offer extra cover for added reassurance.
Does home insurance cover lost jewellery?
Most home insurance will cover jewellery, but depending on the individual value of the item, you may need to list it separately. For example, at Jersey Mutual, our House and Home Insurance covers standalone pieces worth up to £2,500, but anything valued at more than this should by listed individually and a current valuation or purchase receipt logged.
If you want to protect your jewellery whilst outside the home, then you will also need to check with your insurer. Whilst some – such as Jersey Mutual – will cover you when travelling within the Channel Islands, British Isles and Europe (plus up to 60 days anywhere else in the World), others may expect you to add this on as an optional extra.
How to make a home insurance claim
There may be times when the worst case scenario does happen, and you need to make a home insurance claim. Being prepared will help to eliminate the stress and make the process flow more efficiently.
Below we talk you through the main steps to making a home insurance claim.
- If you are the victim of a crime then you will need to report any theft or damage to the police. They will give you a crime reference number which is often a requirement for making a claim.
- Make sure that you take time to read your policy thoroughly, to ensure that you are covered for the situation that has occurred. You should always check the conditions, as there may be certain stipulations that you need to follow e.g./ only using your insurer’s approved list of tradesman to rectify any problems etc.
- Have your documents to hand including your Home Insurance policy, crime reference number and any receipts or valuations for stolen or damaged items. Your insurance provider will also need to know specific times, dates and circumstances for which the event occurred and how much you are planning to claim for.
- At Jersey Mutual we have a genuine desire to handle your claim efficiently, quickly and above all sympathetically. This is why we send a staff member to visit you after a claim has been made to ensure that it is resolved as seamlessly as possible.
If you are interested to know the impact that making a claim can have on future home insurance policies, then please read our latest blog.
Why choose Jersey Mutual for your Home Insurance?
No one likes to have to do the same job twice, so why do that with your home insurance? At Jersey Mutual we have a simpler solution for everyone. Our House and Home Insurance allows you to get your buildings and contents insurance cover in one.
The great thing about taking home insurance cover with us is that we understand the local market and know the things that are most important to our members in Jersey. And, being a society, we will assess all the risks and mitigate any potential losses so that we can obtain the right insurance solution for you. We can even offer a personal service by visiting clients at their homes, should you wish.